3 proposed towers, nearly 400 units: Apartment building boom continues

·3 min read

Hundreds of new apartments in three towers proposed for different parts of London are headed to a city committee Tuesday for approval.

In a report to council's planning committee this week, city staff recommend a zoning bylaw amendment to allow the construction of a 14-storey apartment building at 129-131 Base Line Rd. west of Wharncliffe Road.

The 176-unit highrise pitched by Royal Premier Homes would include a mix of one- and two-bedroom units and 194 parking spaces, nearly all underground. The site currently houses two single-detached dwellings.

Feedback from public meetings included concerns about the height and density, a lack of affordable housing, amenities and greenspace, too many parking spots, the removal of trees, a lack of ground-floor commercial and office space and fatigue from area construction, among others.

Staff addressed those and other issues identified in the report that notes the city cannot determine whether units can be "affordable" or offered at below-market rates.

"The recent Planning Act changes limits the ability for the city to negotiate and secure below-market rates through new development," the report said.

It also states the proposed development is near multiple commercial buildings, including stores and restaurants, and the site is one of the last few in the area with the potential for additional infill.

Politicians on the city committee also will consider applications for a 10-storey apartment building with 131 units on Oxford Street in northeast London and a seven-storey tower on Huron Street in the city's north end.

The highrise by Royal Premier Developments would be built on a 0.31-hectare property at the northeast corner of Oxford and Clemens streets in London's Carling Heights neighbourhood. The lands previously were home to single detached dwellings and a business that have been demolished.

Public input on the development raised concerns about the height and density, increased traffic, a lack of green space and removing trees, all issues staff addressed in the report.

Unlike the other towers, city staff recommend politicians refuse a revised pitch from developer Yossie Lavie to build the 82-unit building at 644-646 Huron St. because the development is inconsistent with the province's land use planning policy.

The staff report to the committee also says the proposed project "does not conform" to the city's Official Plan and the London Plan, blueprints for growth and building, and exceeds the standard maximum of four storeys and the upper maximum of six storeys.

Instead, staff suggest an alternative zoning bylaw amendment to allow the development of a six-storey apartment building with appropriate measures to ensure it is compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood. The Huron property, just east of Adelaide Street, currently houses a two-storey duplex dwelling and a two-storey apartment building.

Politicians on city hall's planning committee could not be reached Monday for comment on the applications.

If approved this week, the proposals for the three highrises will go to council in June for approval.



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Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press